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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nakamura Reality

To understand Japanese culture requires reading between the lines. This is
Hugh Mcpherson's challenge in Nakamura Reality, a beguiling blend of mystery, odyssey, inconsolable loss and obsession.

Absenting himself for a brief intimacy with a former girlfriend, Hugh leaves his surfing-obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When he returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered.

Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels.

After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness.

Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version of his sons' deaths. His doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal's Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza.

Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki's books, Hugh begins a Quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill-will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, and a labyrinth that challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out... and perhaps back to his sons.

Nakamura Reality (Mystery)
By Alex Austin
The Permanent Press
ISBN 9781579624095
272 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“Will Test The Reader’s Imagination”

Leaving his sons unattended on the beach, Hugh McPherson returns to find them missing, believed to have been swept away while surfing in the ocean. The loss of his sons breaks up his marriage with his Japanese wife, Setsuko. She returns to Japan, leaving Hugh to suffer his loss alone. Ten years later he decides to join his sons, swimming into the sea to die, but a vision of his two boys makes him see other possibilities. But when chance presents itself Hugh searches out Setsuko’s father who is visiting to finish his novel. Could his sons still be alive?

This was a strange mystery novel, leaving the reader questioning reality as truth or fiction. What we see as real may not be the truth. The author delves into the Japanese thought process, as well as reading between the lines for deeper meanings. A good read, but there were times I wasn’t sure I was following the story line, and that posed a problem for me. It all works in the end, but expect some odd roads to the final destination. Recommended to test the reader’s imagination.

Tom Johnson


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